Energy prices in Europe: taking stock

The EU is still struggling to find a common strategy to counter soaring energy prices, while in Germany the the details of the government's "double whammy" for mitigating the impact of rising gas prices are under scrutiny. EU leaders will convene again in Brussels in a few days' time to tackle the issue. Commentators discuss priorities.

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Echo24 (CZ) /

Germany's solo actions cause huge damage

Echo24 sees Germany as the main problem:

“In the energy industry we see how much damage the Germans have done with their solo actions. Without consulting others, they decided to abolish their stable sources of electricity from nuclear power and coal and replace them with Russian gas. ... Germany is the country with the most unstable energy sector, dependent on imports and exports. When the wind is high in the North Sea it has to send its huge surplus elsewhere so that its grid doesn't collapse. But when the wind doesn't blow it has to buy in bulk, pushing up the prices.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Preserve unity

De Volkskrant warns that a split within the EU would be a victory for Putin:

“A race between individual states would not only cost a lot of money, it could also undermine the unity of the EU. Richer members could outbid poorer ones. National aid packages pose the same threat. ... It is important that the member states reach an agreement. They must not only keep their own economies going and protect their citizens but above all they must preserve their unity. Europe is embroiled in an economic war with Russia. A divided Europe is a battle won for Putin.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Already getting by without Russian gas

The Financial Times says Putin's attempt to blackmail Europe by cutting gas supplies has already failed:

“Analysis of underlying supply patterns reveals that, contrary to common belief, Europe is securing enough gas and liquefied natural gas from global markets to fully substitute for lost Russian supplies already. What is more, it can fully replace every last bit of Russian gas without any need for demand destruction or even substitution away from gas. ... Putin, by contrast, will be losing what we conservatively estimate to be 100bn from lost gas sales annually.”